Washington (CNN) – Sen. Jim DeMint said Wednesday that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist should abandon his Senate bid and endorse his Republican primary rival.
DeMint was asked about chatter that Crist, trailing badly against Marco Rubio in the primary, might decide to run as an independent instead. "I hope that won't happen," he responded.
"That is a sour grapes approach - when you find out you can't win, you bail out just like Arlen Specter did in his [Pennsylvania Republican] primary against Pat Toomey," DeMint said of a possible independent bid by Crist. "I hope that doesn't happen in Florida."
DeMint made his remarks about Crist during a conference call organized to tout his endorsement of Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck.
The South Carolina senator threw his support to Rubio last summer, before conservative activists rallied around the former state House speaker and catapulted him from a long-shot candidate to the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. DeMint has since been one of Rubio's most prominent backers.
Though Crist and his aides have pledged repeatedly that the governor will remain a Republican candidate, his campaign in recent days has avoided questions about a possible independent bid, sparking a new round of speculation and gossip. Crist has until April 30, the filing deadline, to remain in the GOP primary.
"I think there is magnanimous way for Marco's opponent to step out and support him," DeMint said of Crist.
Since when does it matter what that "Gomer" has to say?
What an appalling turn of events that a reasonable Republican such as Crist is now unpalatable to the ultra right who control the Republican party. Whatever happened to those respectable men that ruled the party in the past?
Lieberman did it and the Republicans did not mind at all.
I should point out that Lieberman still votes along Democrat party lines.
Reoublicans knew he would but still was willing to help him. You will never see a Democrat get that type of support from his party had it been the other way around.
Some times Republicans are too nice for their own good.
This has nothing to do about "being behind" and everything to do with Crist's upcoming veto of SB#6 – removal of teacher tenure.
This bill is the darling of the republican Florida legislature and Crist is about to shove it back down its throats because it is a horrible piece of legislation.
Crist's veto will launch his senate bid big time as a oderate republican, everything the wing-nut Rubio does not want.
Charlie is about to do something right...go Charlie, veto the bill and send a message to the lunatic fringe that runs your part.
DeMint is an embarrassment to Greenville (his hometown) and the state of SC. What a fascist!
Crist will beat the fool hands down
I guess DeMint is pedicting Crist waterloo. Crist you should take a long look at your Republican party, they consider you a liberal and you care about the american working middle class people. They can,t have that in their party. You must defend the rich and powerful's if you want to stay in their party. Wake up Man you have been exticated from their party you are not good enough for them.
Isn't BAD ENOUGH that the majority of Republicans (instead of doing their jobs) are too busy knocking the Obama Administratiob and now there beginning to throw their OWN UNDER THE BUS!
What Demint should be doing is telling Sen. Ensign to resign for his unethical behavior. He should stay out the affiars of state for Florida and let the residents of Florida decide who THEY wish to have as their Senator.
Just out of curiosity, did Senator DeMint have the same opinion of Senator Lieberman, who lost the Democratic primary and ran as an Independent. I did not hear him referred to as a sour grapes guy when he endorsed McCain and helped block and tackle for the GOP against the Democratic majority. Could it be that DeMint is using two different standards? No; that would be hypocrisy, wouldn't it?
I wish Governor Crist would run as an independent. He is a moderate who works well with people from both parties. He does not fit with the far right extremist views of the current republican party leaders. The democrats do not have a strong contender in this race and many would support Governor Crist if he ran as in independent.
Running as an independent worked for Joe Lieberman in Connecticut. Sen. Leiberman is effective as an independent and so would be Governor Crist.
Crist, leave the Dark Side. Join the Force. The Force can be powerful in you. The Force believes that Florida is not a Red state, nor a Blue state, but one of the United States.
I would like to urge all Republicans to quit and let people who actually have solutions and America's best interest in mind, be in charge.
This Jefferson Davis wannabe just doesnt stop his insane rants.Lets just laugh at him and the morons on here like TCM.
I would prefer Crist over Rubio any day. If Crist were to run for an Independent I might just take him serious and swit ch my vote from Meeks to him. I like the fact that he extending voting hours during the 2008 elections and the fact that he took the bailout money for jobs in Fl. Rubio is a bum – we don't need his kind here in Florida.
Crist works for his country, DeMint only for his party and their corporate masters.
DeMint should drop out and join the teabaggers.
I think DeMint should drop out and mind his own busines.
The hispanic population in Central Florida is composed of largely Puerto Ricans, Rubio is mistaken if he thinks we will vote for his right wing ideology, most of the votes for him shall be collected in South Florida. Whites anywhere else will not vote for this right-wing moron! Gov. Crist shall come out as the big winner!
This is the stupidest thing I ever heard. I don't care if Rubio of Christ win, they are both the same to me, but who cares what a senator from South Carolina recommends about a race in Florida. It is for the people of Florida to decide.
When will Rush quit and take all the other ignorant Republicans with him?
how about all you racists on the right drop out???? how about all you immigrant haters hang yourself?? how about all you republicans get out of congress and let this country and world be a better place without you morons?
DeMint need to take care of all the problems in South Carolina; and stay out of Florida business. Once again – a stupid Senator.
I agree with you Judy, Gov. Crist works for the people of Florida not the republican party. If he switches to Independent, I would for him in a heartbeat. Rubio is a leech living high on the hog with donors money. I don't trust him as far as I can throw him.
They're so cute when they eat each other.
Crist is a very level headed guy, works for the people and the country.
Rubio scared the tar out of me. Crist would clobber him as an independent.
While Brown was a Republican in MA. I think there is a wave of people wanting anyone but the above and we are going to witness a huge
flush out of Washington. Crist should switch and take the lead rebuilding
not the party but the country.
Is that what the Republicans call Joe Lieberman. The "Sour Grape" Democrat?